One of the revelations that came out of the ‘alz-ervention’ a few weeks ago when the family sat down to talk to Miss Cathy was that she expressed an interest in therapy (I immediately went to the window to see if pigs were flying but it was just the blooms off the Cherry Blossoms).
To say I was surprised, shocked and elated (is true) but mostly I was happy that she was
ready to face some of her demons, many of which have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s but the Alz has definitely ‘heightened’ some of the parts of her personality that are….how shall I put this? …..strong (read: annoying as sh*t) but seem to me to be (deeply) rooted in some pain or past that hopefully she is ready to face.
I’m a big advocate of therapy, it’s helped me immeasurably at different times in my life but I also know that sitting across from a stranger, though a professional they may be, is not for everyone and especially someone Miss Cathy’s age (and generation).
And I know that the ‘Greatest Generation’ is not ‘great’ about ‘sharing their feelings’…especially when it involves the kind of navel gazing that my self absorbed generation (the last of the baby boomers-thus aptly named the ‘Me Generation”) is/was all to eager to explore.
We (me) grew up reading “Jonathan Livingston’s Seagull”, ”How to be Your own Best Friend” and “I’m OK, You’re OK”, while our parents still remember reading the WWll mantra “Loose lips, Sink ships” (and internalized that to inhibit introspection apparently).
But, it was because of their stoicism growing up during the depression and thriving after the war(s) that we were able to run around with feathers and flowers in our hair (be it an afro or parted in the middle and worn as long and straight as you could iron it), drink Coke (and later snort it) and ‘try to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony’.
So, giving the differences of how we learned to cope I applaud an older person, specifically my Miss Cathy for embracing self-reflection.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new ways to contemplate.